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A Week of Halloween Celebration

Published November 1, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

This weekend marks the beginning of my most favorite holiday, Halloween! I love the whole season but I just view this as a ‘kick-off’ to a wonderful time of the year. Victoria is two and she is starting to enjoy this season just like every deserving child. I am so thankful that her parents allow me to be a part of the festivities!

10-23-16-victoria-and-annabelle-boo-at-the-zoo-%2216-2My daughter and her fiance took Victoria and Annabelle to ‘Boo at the Zoo’, a yearly Halloween event that she makes sure she attends. We think of it as a ‘kick-off’ to the Halloween celebration week. Sadly, we didn’t get any pictures because there were so many families with their children and my daughter wanted to make sure they could keep their eyes on the girls. It was a fun time, though. Victoria, Annabelle and Liliana (My daughter’s best friend’s daughter) went together.

 

On the 28th while my daughter was working, I took Victoria to a celebration in the historical district of the little town we live in. As I drove up in the car, I noticed the streets were blocked off and various people were 10-28-16-victoria-halloween-spooktacularsetting up their tables with Halloween-themed signs. Having just dropped her mother off to work, Victoria dressed in her pink surgeon costume had fallen asleep in her car seat. We followed the long line of cars down the twists and turns finally reaching our destination. We were directed to park in a garage that, honestly, I never really noticed before when I drove by. It wasn’t a very big garage; the town isn’t very big either. I walked around the SUV to retrieve sleeping Victoria from her car seat and noticed other children in their costumes running about. I was starting to get excited for Victoria to be able to partake in the upcoming events. Ok..ok. I was excited for myself, hee hee.

10-28-16-victoria-halloween-spooktacular-gamesAs we walk up to the event Victoria, fully awake by now, notices the games and play area. I notice the dreadfully-long line. We stand in line watching the different children in costumes running back and forth. There were many, many people. Some with babies in costumes, some with a big family all decked out in costumes and there were some people with their dogs on leashes. There was a pet contest in a few hours so many families dressed up their canines and submitted them in the contest. Victoria loved seeing all the puppies run around and bark and play. She loves animals.

Finally we start the long walk to retrieve candy. Victoria got a kick out of seeing all the other kids run up to 10-28-16-victoria-spooktacular-scary-restaurantthe different vendors in their creative costumes. Victoria participated in a lot of festivities, she even won a raffle at a karate school that was giving out candy: 6 weeks of free lessons. Unfortunately she wouldn’t be able to use it, being a toddler and all. Walking further down the street, Victoria and I notice many police officers with their cars parked and lights flashing. They, too were giving out candy in their patrol cars for the children. Everyone was screaming with excitement and running around their moms and dads. Carrying her purple plastic pumpkin, Victoria looked up at me with joy in her face, pointing at the many different costumes and seeing other children. Soon we scaled the whole street, walking up to the doors of many businesses with their decorative tables out on display. She really had a great time but it was time to go home.

 

10-29-16-victoria-and-mommy-kroger-pumpkin-decoratingMommy’s friend sent her a Facebook message about a costume gathering at the local grocery store. Actually this isn’t just a grocery store, its a mega-grocery store. Not only do they have foods of many different kinds; they have a section when they sell clothes from infants to adults, a pharmacy equip with a walk-in clinic and a doctor and nurse always on staff. Plus they have a bar. This bar allows people to actually drink alcohol while their S.O.s shop. I think that is a lovely idea. As they walk into the store, they noticed different displays of Halloween décor. 10-29-16-victoria-kroger-cookie-decoratingKnowing that we always take Victoria to the bakery for a free cookie first, that was the place she wanted to start. Her mother walked her up to a table with an assortment of flavors to choose from. After the two had finished decorating their individual cookies, they followed the signs that lead them to the pumpkin decorating table. She did get a bit of green paint on her costume but just a little. After she finished decorating her pumpkin, she was able to bring it home. Finally she participated in a costume contest. She was delighted to see the other children in their colorful costumes standing for a pose. I found myself lost in a crowd of 10-30-16-victoria-trunk-or-treatparents taking pictures of their babies on their cell phones and laughing with delight. Unfortunately mommy had to return to work so Victoria and I got back in the car for a fun drive home. That night, we went to a Trunk or Treat at a church on the other side of town. There were many games to play but mostly Cake Walks and other things that Victoria didn’t feel like participating in. She was tired and so were we.

 

Finally it was October 31st, the day of actual trick or treating! During the day, we went to the county library. Different departments were giving out candy and we thought it would be fun for Victoria to go. She walked through the double doors, inquisitive of the long line of elderly people casting their votes early. Walking up to the main desk, she was allowed to have two pieces of candy and received a board book. She loves to read! 10-31-16-victoria-county-libraryThis was a great idea, I thought to myself. As she is skipping away towards the other departments, I am fumbling in my purse trying to get my camera phone ready. We scurry to the library cafe and she is greeted by a woman dressed as a witch who offers her a handful of lollypops. Not really knowing how to use her words correctly yet, she has a name for lollypops in her own little language. ‘Fwah’ is what she calls them. “Titi! Fwah’s! Fwah’s!” screamed 10-31-16-victoria-skateboarding-with-daddyVictoria in excitement. Soon she went to the children’s section of the library to play with various puzzles and board games. She met a few friends there and questioned about a ‘dinosaur’ computer wondering what a keyboard and mouse detached from the tower itself. She learned a new word, a word we have been waiting for but knew she would overuse: ‘Why?” “Why, Titi, why?” she would ask me. I explained that is how the computers looked when mommy was little. I suppose she accepted the answer and walked off with her father. It was his day off so he came to see her get candy and play with the other kids. After we were done with the library, we drove to my daughter’s friend’s house and went to a few houses there. After THAT, we went to a few apartments where we live and she had gotten more candy.

Now we are home and I am so tired. We have done a lot this past week but like I mentioned before, I am so thankful Victoria’s’ parents allow me to be a part of the festivities. Happy Halloween, Victoria Renee.

10-31-16-victoria-public-library

New Adventures of Victoria the Toddler!

Published April 29, 2016 by The Hip Grandmother

Sitting here with my granddaughter is such a wonderful thing to me. We had just dropped her mother off to work and now we can relax watching a little television and play on YouTube. Well…she is. She is fully capable to navigate throughout YouTube and it keeps her busy for an hour or two if I let her. (Which I never do, half an hour at the most).

4-15-16 Our new apartmentMost of you know that we have moved into a new apartment. Moving from a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom apartment makes for a lot of space. Victoria finally has her own room to do as she pleases. Her toys fit in 3 toy boxes lined up on the wall, her bookshelf stuffed with reading literature, Disney Princess table and chairs and her toddler bed on the other side. My friend brought her a foam mat so it would drowned out some of the noise for the people downstairs. (We have hardwood floors throughout the house).

As a family, we do a lot of things together. Since Victoria’s mom works a lot, it gives us more time to spend together. We do go out to friends houses. We also go to the park. I am planning to put together a picnic basket and spend a few hours at the Beltway Park that my small but quaint town has to offer.

Taking selfies while we shop.

Taking selfies while we shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some pictures I was able to capture on our adventures. Enjoy 🙂

Victoria went to the circus with the family.....

Victoria went to the circus with the family…..

Played outside in the grass with her wagon

Played outside in the grass with her wagon

Dressed up to see the easter bunny......

Dressed up to see the easter bunny……

....But fell asleep in his arms....

….But fell asleep in his arms….

Played with Mommy's make-up

Played with Mommy’s make-up

Stole a bite of Mommy's ice cream cone

Stole a bite of Mommy’s ice cream cone

Ended up waiting in the room for the dentist

Ended up waiting in the room for the dentist

First-time examination! She did GREAT!!!

First-time examination! She did GREAT!!!

Went to visit her best friend Paco.

Went to visit her best friend Paco.

Creating a technological bond between great-grandmother and grandchild

Published November 16, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

September 7 2014On one of my other postings, I have talked about how I am so thankful and blessed for being a part of the generation that I am in. We are after the Baby Boomers and before Generation Y. I heard that they are called ‘Generation Y’ for a reason. “Y move out of my parents house? Y pay my own bills?” But I joke….kind of.

My mother is a part of the baby-boomer generation. She is also very close to Victoria. But she is really close to my daughter. So close that my daughter named my grandchild after her. What an honor that must be! We want to make sure that she is a part of this baby’s life as we are. Unfortunately she lives about 25 miles away so she cannot see her precious great-granddaughter as much as she would like. But we have found a way that we can connect on a daily basis: Facetime.

Having the special incentive to use this technology means she can be there to view the milestones at the tips of her fingers at any time. This is a great way to keep in touch with what is going on in the family, not only with Victoria but us too. There is a survey that shows 20% of the grandparents that were interviewed use such technology to ‘touch base’ with their grandchildren at least once or twice a week.

Grandparents of a generation or two ago would probably not accept anything other than the telephone for communication with their children and/or grandchildren (if the internet were available back then). But the grandparents of this day and age frequent social networks anyway; so using programs such as Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts on any device they own in the form of a laptop, desktop, tablet or cell phone is easier to keep in touch with their babies’ babies.11-13-14 Victoria being silly

That brings me to my own mother. She wants to make sure she stays in my daughter’s life as much as possible (as she should). When my daughter was in high school, they would spend hours (literally hours) on the phone like teenagers chatting away to each other. They are so close, they share the same likeness of music thus going to concerts of that genre together. They are that close. So you can see how much my daughter wants to share special moments of Victoria with my mother. It is almost a daily occurrence that there is communication on Facetime. Be it lunchtime or bath time, my mother gets to see my grand daughter and my daughter, Victoria gets to actually see and get to know her great grandmother and I get to see my mother daily. As her adult-child, it brings me comfort knowing that my mother is okay.

12 things I want to show you about my 8 month old grand daughter Victoria Renee

Published November 10, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Ok…I didn’t write the 7 things I have learned about my grand daughter Victoria Renee. BUT she has made some improvements during the 7 month and I would love to show you the pictures instead. Today is Victoria’s 8th month of life. I want to show you now that she is starting to leave the infant world and go straight to becoming a little kid. Its hard to believe that my grand daughter isn’t a baby in a bassinet anymore. She is really growing up and I have become closer and closer to the little booger.

We have gone from this:Victoria 8-8-14 II

To this:

11-7-14 playing in her pack n play

Now we are to this:

11-7-14 busy playing

Somewhere in between 22-25 lbs, she is starting to lunge forward to position herself to crawl. One of these days she will do it and hopefully it will be in my presence. Her mother holds her up in a standing position as she holds on to the coffee table in the living room. She is definitely on her way.

From eating this way:

Kiss the hand of the Queen!

Kiss the hand of the Queen!

Eventually eating in a high chair:

Eating at Shoneys 8-6-14

And finally she is an ol’ pro!

Victoria at breakfast 9-17-14

As you know, I am her babysitter while her mother works. There have been times when things are kind of hard keeping her on a schedule but all in all, she is a very easy baby to deal with. I set a schedule for her sleeping and she has grown into it wonderfully.

We have gone from this:

Long day on the 10th of April

To this:

Sleeping Beauty 8-26-14

And at times…..I find her playing in her crib when she is supposed to be in dreamland

11-10-14 Victoria not sleeping during nap

She does a lot of things on her own, though.

11-7-14 holding her bottle

And she even tries to push herself by doing different things, such as holding the bottle in one hand then switching to the other hand……

11-7-14 holding her good night bottle for first time

She really thinks she is cool. Thats ok because I think she’s an awesome kid. Not a baby but a kid.

11-9-14 Victoria and Grandma Titi

A Wonderful Day at Shriner’s Circus

Published October 19, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

The alarm blared next to my bed as I struggled to find my glasses on my nightstand. The sun had already broke through the clouds and the sky became clear. As I lay in bed, I hear commotion in the kitchen with Victoria sitting in her high chair and her mother feeding her oatmeal with fruit. She has been ‘finding her voice’ for days now and shrieks (screaming out loud) to hear her own voice.

Two wonderful faces to wake up to. (And my black cat Shaddow as well!)

Today was the day we are going to the Shriner’s Circus with Victoria. I kinda had the feeling that she would do well with crowds but with the loud noise I wasn’t sure about. Today was also the day that she was promoted from her carrier to a ‘big girl’ car seat. Not the Victoria and her big girl car seat‘big, big girl’ kind of car seat but the kind that toddlers are in. She is a husky 21 lbs. But she is also over 27 inches long. Big girl! But I bet when she starts crawling (which she is showing signs) that weight will melt off her. Fat babies are cute babies!

As we were walking into the Thomson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN there were people with children everywhere. I was kind of nervous, myself being in large crowds. And I had my grand daughter in my arms so I had to make sure I kept a straight face and took care of the task at hand. We searched for our seats in the dark in the nose-bleed section. Yes it was packed with children screaming from excitement everywhere! My daughter found seats for us and I handed Victoria to her so I could take pictures of her first experience with the circus. There were tigers balancing on beams jumping through fiery hoops and elephants dancing. There were trained dogs balancing on the backs of their trainer wowing the crowds. Victoria did enjoy it but the loud acoustics and flashing lights bothered her. After a few attempts to get her to look, we decided to retreat to the corridor of the arena so Victoria will feel a bit easier with all the hoopla that was before her.

Finally we were standing in the corridor looking at the action that was happening inside the arena. I noticed a stand that sold wands that light-up. I decided to buy Victoria a big pink light-up wand. She was mesmerized by the flashing lights. It was great! She seemed so excited to see her new present come to life with just a push of a button. Fortunately that diverted her attention from the flashing lights and the loud noises coming from inside the arena. Then an announcement came on the speakers saying that there will be an intermission and a display of pony rides and elephant rides were presented to the little children. My daughter was so excited that she grabbed Victoria and announced that she will go down to see if she is old enough to ride a pony. I told her that she was probably too young and the clowns will probably scare the crap out of her.

                                                                                                         Like always, she paid no attention to me and walked down to the bottom of the arena where the pony rides were. I stayed up in the Victoria paying attention to the circus 10-18-14corridor searching for them to just get a glimpse of my baby and her baby within the crowds of other parents. I noticed that my daughter was next to a crowd of people strapping on harnesses for Victoria to ride a pony. I honestly couldn’t believe it! She is only 7 months old and she is enjoying what other kids way-older than her- are enjoying. My daughter and a helper walked in a circular-motion following a circle of ponies attached to one another. Victoria enjoyed every minute! Soon the ride was over and she had to leave her pony. I was hoping that she would come back up to where I was standing but they were surrounded by a bunch of clowns that took pictures with my grand daughter. If she was scared she never let it show. Then my daughter took her to get her face painted in the form of a cat. Yes she was young but I am so glad that my daughter introduced her to that type of social action. She didn’t cry or become irritated. She just smiled and was very attentive. Basically she people-watched.

As I sit here trying to find the words to put into this blog, I smile to the fact that my daughter had shown me what a true parent does. Its never too early to make memories with your babies. I am proud of the mummy that she is becoming.

Victoria's face painting 10-18-14

Victoria Renee had a great first-time experience with the Shriner’s Circus at 7 months old

The Easter Bunny: An Obtainable Goal

Published April 20, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

 

Boy! Are my dogs barking! What a fun day I had on Easter eve. This morning was no different from the rest, fixing bottles and preparing her diaper bag to spend the day with Victoria’s daddy and her Nana. As we hurry to get ready to go see the elusive Easter Bunny, I make sure we have enough diapers and wipes while my daughter is getting her hair ready. This is Victoria’s first Easter and we will get a picture even if we have to get an old stuffed animal out and set it next to her in the living room. But being parents and grandparents that we are, we want to make sure it is professionally done.

At first, I thought it was silly to have a one-month old all gussied up to take a picture and not even know what was going on around her. I used to think that in my younger years. I remember when my daughter was still an infant, her father and I brought her to the mall to see Santa Claus. Well…her grandmother wanted a picture and I was too narrow-minded to see that they wanted a picture and enjoy their grandchild in the arms of Santa. Now I know how they originally felt.

The night before my daughter’s friend posted something on Facebook about the Easter Bunny and pictures in the mall of our little town. We made plans with Daddy and Nana to accompany us to achieve our goal. As we were walking into the courtyard in the mall, we noticed….nothing. No long lines, no kids running around chasing one another, no bows of pink and green to signify ‘come take a picture with the Easter Bunny’. Nothing. My daughter went up to an employee to ask if the Easter Bunny already came for a visit to the mall. The lady looked at her and said, “We have decided not to have the Easter Bunny here this year.” This year? My grand daughter is finally born and you decide that you aren’t going to have the Easter Bunny come to your mall this year?? Nana and I did not take the word ‘NO’. Back to the car we go.

We also heard about a park nearby and they were hosting the Easter Bunny. It was our town’s Park and Recreation. If we hurry, we can finally lay our ‘grandparent’ eyes on this elusive Easter Bunny and snap a picture with him holding our bundle of joy. We see many people walking with their kids to their cars as they carry baskets of eggs and other belonging, collecting their children from running out into the street. We parked the car and I walked up to a bystander. I asked her if the Easter Bunny was going to show up today. “You missed him an hour ago! He was here but left!” I turned to Nana and threw my hands in the air. Nana wasn’t going down without a fight either. We are going to see this child with an Easter Bunny even if we have to dress up like one ourselves and take a picture!

Back at Nana’s house, we had a lovely dinner: steak with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. It was good for us to gather our strength while we decide to go to the next city to see if they have an Easter Bunny on display. Nana called the mall clerk and received some good news. We found out that one of the bigger malls does have a professional Easter Bunny (and the best part is we can get pictures!) It was 20 minutes away but that didn’t stop us.

As we pulled into the mall, we could see a lot of people walking back and forth going into the doors of the mall, exiting the building. I was prepared to wait in line, no matter how long, just to see Victoria and the Easter Bunny. Walking into the courtyard, there is the Easter Bunny we have been searching for all day!!! AND the line wasn’t long. I noticed people with baby carriages taking out their babies for the Easter Bunny to hold. I didn’t feel so bad after that.

Victoria and the Elusive Easter Bunny

Victoria and the Elusive Easter Bunny

I want Victoria to know that there are so many people out there that care about her. That care about her being HERE. The love that her Nana and I express for her is so powerful. We are the lucky ones. We are Victoria’s hip grandmothers.

 

The Baby Shower

Published February 27, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Looking out the window, I see the sun has finally shown its face after a month and a half of cold bitter days. Many times I had promised never to venture out of my apartment in the snow and today was no different. Rewinding the clock back to the night before, I again watched the snow fall to the ground hoping that this would not ruin my daughter’s baby shower. We had to go to the next town over where my sister lives to celebrate. We had everything prepared for this day. As my daughter and I stared helplessly at the newly-fallen snow, we were both crossing our fingers in hopes that tomorrow will indeed be a day for us to remember.

The Baby Shower II

 As a rule, I never leave the house without cleaning up. I don’t want to come back home to a mess before I create a new mess. Both my daughter and I rush around back and forth throughout the house looking for last minute messes to clean, getting our outfits together or fixing our hair and make-up. As we run to catch our ride, I quickly feed our cat and grab the house key. She is already down in the car as I make sure my jacket is on zipping up the front. Looking around the ground, I can already see the snow melting which is actually making me smile.

We arrived at my sister’s house to see her and her best friend decorating the living/dining room with splashes of light pink and dark pink streamers. Both women always seemed to have the best attitude and the brightest smile on their faces….and it was only 9 a.m. Actually, the house seemed to radiate good feelings. I was with family and friends and it was going to be a great day. Everyone finally came who was originally invited. Family meeting friends for the first time was very entertaining. The guests played many games hosted by my sister. “How well do you know mommy” and “baby animal names” were just a fraction of the games that they all played. I was in the kitchen helping with preparation to set out the food on the tables.

Finally it was time to open up the baby shower gifts. Everyone sat around encircling my daughter who sat in the dead-center of the living room. Opening up the cards and carefully ripping the wrapping paper, I tried to take as many pictures as I could. Finally I had run out of space on my camera phone. Luckily my friend made sure she picked up where I left off. Everyone enjoyed cake and chattered back and forth with each other. It was a good time and a very successful baby shower. The Baby Shower

As the guests take their leave from my sister’s house, my best friend asks me if she can take me home to bring the vast amounts of presents for Victoria. I agreed that I would love to catch a ride back to town while my daughter stayed behind with my sister and my mother to finish cleaning the house. As we brought up all the gifts and compiled them into the baby’s room, we look at all the presents that were bought for Victoria and breathed a sigh of relief. Now we have everything we need to welcome the baby.

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